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warhol artwork found in a skip

20 Dec 2012

An Andy Warhol print, amongst other prizes, was found in a skip in New York recently.

Harry Shunk, an artist who lived in New York City, was a prolific hoarder and hermit. In his apartment, he’d amassed a huge collection of highly prized art. After his death, the majority of the stuff was thrown in to a dumpster, but 2000 or so items were salvaged by one of the clean-up team.

Darryl Kelly decided to hold on to the items out of curiosity after clearing out the flat. The recluse had died alone, and with no apparent relation, he was buried in an unmarked grave. However, after seeing an antiques auction programme on TV, he thought the hoard might be worth something.

Darryl Kelly’s collection was auctioned, six years after he first took possession of it. Twenty-four works, including the Warhol Marilyn, sold for $226,224. Kelly had also sold 1,701 items to the Lichtenstein Foundation in September for an undisclosed sum, but which he said was ‘six figures’. Kelly, who had never heard of Harry Shunk or Andy Warhol until recently, said he had come to feel great warmth for Shunk. ‘My promise to Harry is to get him a tombstone,’ he said.

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